THE BELOVED CLASSUnited States of America entered into the 20-ies of XX century, the only real winner. “The great war” is not only completely removed from the scene of one of main competitors — Germany, but much bled the other leading countries of Europe, formally including among the winners of the United States firmly occupied the place of “forge world” that had so long belonged to Britain. Now it was necessary to reinforce economic claims rising military power, especially in the sea. Here, however, things were not so rosy, the Americans have created a powerful battle fleet, laid an enormous series of destroyers — “flash-Decker”, but in the class of cruisers huge gaping gap. The only more or less contemporary were a dozen pieces of type “Omaha”, however, looked to be a drop in the vast sea of the British cruising force. They were approached to provide the linear action of the fleet, but gave in to old cruising tasks, such as the protection of their trade and a violation of the enemy. Seemed to catch up with the “mistress of the seas” in the game on their field in the coming two decades is not possible.

And here the English suddenly gave its former colony the assistance of which it is difficult to overestimate. Greed the lords of the Admiralty, who sought to keep in line honey, not too balanced and not so necessary and useful “Elizavetinsky”, led to the fact that after a long “battle” in the meeting rooms at the Washington conference high “raised the bar” for a class of light cruisers of 10,000 tons displacement while caliber guns, the 203 mm.
These ships were very the United States with extensive Maritime boundaries in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. On a huge expanse of water had a very limited number of locations, so vysokovoltnyi large ships with good seakeeping, able to take on Board a few thousand tons of fuel and provides a good cruising range looked very promising. And finally, all the powers, including Britain, at the moment were almost in the same position, new classes of ships in service was not available for anybody.
The last factor raised the political and military leadership of the United States and rosy, I must say, well-founded hope. Had a chance to catch up with the former metropolis and major competitor in the world at a very important position, creating a fast and powerful cruiser in the same, if not greater numbers than the opponent. Since then seemed a possible war between English-speaking Nations, the British had to defend the stretching around the world of communication, Americans would get in the cruising actions significant advantage Important factor was the rapid growth of the Japanese fleet. The subjects of the Mikado was also going to come to grips with the same “mile high”.
Accordingly, to begin construction of the “Washington” cruisers followed as quickly as possible — and this with virtually no experience in designing a modern combat units of any cruising class. Designers and naval theorists did not immediately found a common language – the drawings and technical specifications were altered many times before being able to form the shape of “desyatitysyachnye”. The process was delayed, and although a draft design appeared at the end of 1923, the firstborn, “Pensacola” (American heavy cruiser continued the tradition of naming the names of cities, often the capitals of the States), laid in three years at the end of 1926 and its sister ship. “Salt lake city” in the middle of the next, 1927.
In this case, “long did not go for the future”. “Product” is pretty original, but not too successful. Although the number of eight-inch guns ten was the maximum for the class (the same had only Japanese heavy cruiser) their location was unusual. That the designers used both two – and treboradice tower was not full “exclusive”: such a scheme was previously applied, and the Americans on the battleships of the “Nevada” and later the Italians in their modernized “old people” types “Cavour” and “Cesare”.
However, the fact that heavier treboradice tower took place over two-gun can be fully attributed to how the original as inadequate technical imagination. However, to understand the causes can be wide barbettes towers of the main caliber of the second tier does not fit into the sharp contours of the extremities. However, the understanding of the problem are not added to the ships stability. They turned out walkie on the excitement and real Champions for the magnitude of pitching. But even more dangerous on the possible consequences was the location of the cellars of ammunition, which in the bow disposed above the waterline! Combined with a very modest armor protection of such a “gift” to the enemy could be fatal. And the reservation did look very easy. American experts decided that to protect the new cruiser from their own kind, armed with jasminewebcam, will fail, because somehow expected that the upcoming fights will be held at the low and medium ranges. So we decided to limit the cover mechanisms and cellars from the weapon of the destroyers, and then only at distances of more than 40 cables, and the tower received only a symbolic ballistic armor. In General, the inability to calculate a good article loads in combination with full relief corps has led to the fact that the first American “Washingtonians” was very light: their standard displacement did not reach the limit of 900 tonnes — almost 10%!
However, in fairness, it should be noted that a combination of military qualities, “salt lake city” was not inferior to the British “County” and looked much better than the French “naked” type “Tourville”. They could carry (at least in theory) up to four seaplanes; for the protection, to reduce the risk of losing a running from one hit, the engineers used alternating the location of turbines and boilers, so that even a torpedo caught in the center of the body, could not stop the ship.
But, more importantly, Americans learned pretty quickly and was not confined to the first experience. In 1926, followed by the next series. Due to the failure of mixed two – and treforedling installations and eliminate one of the towers, the engineers came to the layout, traditional for heavy cruisers of the United States: treboradice three towers — two in the nose and one aft. The calculations showed that this arrangement gives the gain in mass compared to the classic (four two-gun turret, two in the bow and stern), not to mention the extra barrel. Saving masses went invisible in the figures, but useful improvement. Instead of a flush-deck hull of their predecessors, much filled with water when required in bad weather, the cruiser got a high forecastle, a beneficial impact on seaworthiness. Boiler and turbine Department (also alternating) shared additional armor bulkheads, even more strengthening the principle: “one should not deprive the ship of progress”. Finally, “Northampton” could really carry four seaplanes, placed in hangars on the sides at the rear of the pipe.
Fearing to go beyond the “Washington” limit, the designers decided not to increase the reservation. And in vain: on the new series of dubious record “salt lake city” was surpassed. All six units were easier legitimate 10,000 for a thousand tons! The most curious thing is that this “savings” only showed up on tests at the end of construction. Sailors biting elbows: how many “pleasant” things could have been purchased without such “hoarding”!
And that affected the fate of the next series. Originally intended to build five cruisers for the same type of “Northampton,” which was considered to be fairly successful. However, in the course of construction it became clear that the predecessors unwisely facilitated. Work had to be frozen for almost a year, during which the designers tried to use suddenly fell down on them tons of different articles load. The most significant was the strengthening of horizontal reservation: the thickness of the thin inch of the deck above the turbines and boilers have increased by half; significantly strengthened and a cover of the cellars, bringing the reservation to 140 mm. But some of the disadvantages of the reservation remained, including substituted fire of the enemy the cellar above the water line and the symbolic cover shells. Changed the armament. Cruisers have completely lost their torpedo tubes (with earlier their is still removed shortly after the entry into operation), but the number of 127-mm anti-aircraft guns grew twice, up to eight trunks.
However, the imbalance protection and other unpleasant “holes” in the project did not satisfy the sailors, justly believed that a huge “underweight” could be used much better. Therefore, the Maritime Ministry of the U.S. made a bold step, to complete such interim option only two ships, “Portland” and “Indianapolis”. The rest were already in the new type, which became the result of the most numerous in this class of American cruisers in the pre-war era.
166. Heavy cruiser “Pensacola” (USA, 1930)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in new York. The standard displacement of 9100 tons full 11 515 tons, the maximum length 178,51 m, width 19,89 m, draught of 5.94 m. Capacity chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 107 000 HP, speed of 32,5 knot. Reservations: the Board 63 and 102 mm, deck 25 — 45 mm, turret 63— 19 mm, 19 mm, barbettes Armament: ten 203/55-mm guns, four 127/25 mm anti-aircraft guns, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes, four seaplanes. In 1929-1930 he built two units: “salt lake city” and “Pensacola”. Modernized before world war II: torpedo tubes removed and installed an additional four 127-mm anti-aircraft guns. During the war, have undergone significant changes in the design of masts and superstructures and got 24 — 28 40-mm anti-aircraft guns “Bofors” and 20 — 24 20-mm “Arlekino”. Both sunk during nuclear testing in 1948
167. The heavy cruiser “Louisville” (USA, 1931)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in the Puget Sound. Displacement standard 9005 t, 11 full 420 tons, the maximum length 182,96 m, width-20,14 m, draft 5,92 m Power chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 107 000 HP, speed of 32,5 knot. Reservations: the Board of 76 to 85 mm, 20 deck — 51 mm, turrets 63 — 19 mm, barbettes 37 mm. Armament: nine 203/55-mm guns, four 127/25 mm anti-aircraft guns, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes, four seaplanes. In 1930-1931, he built six units: “Northampton”, “Chester”, “Louisville”, “Chicago”, “Houston” and “Augusta”. Modernized before world war II: torpedo tubes removed and installed an additional four 127-mm anti-aircraft guns. During the war, have undergone significant changes in the design of masts and superstructures. All the surviving units received 20 — 24 40-mm anti-aircraft gun “Bofors” and 20 — 26 20-mm “erricone”. Houston died in March 1942 , “Northampton” — in December of the same year and “Chicago” in January 1943 , the rest scrapped in 1959— 1960.
168. Heavy cruiser “San Francisco” (USA, 1934)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in the Mayor island. Displacement standard 10 140 t, full 12 465 tons, the maximum length 179,22 m, width 18,82 m, draft 6,93 m Power chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 107 000 HP, speed 32.7 node. Reservations: the Board 140 to 95 mm. a 57 mm deck, towers 152 — 37 mm, barbettes 152 mm Armament: nine 203 55-mm guns, eight 127 25-mm anti-aircraft guns, eight 12.7-mm machine guns, four seaplanes. In 1934-1937 built seven units: “new Orleans”, “Astoria”, “Minneapolis”, “Tuscaloosa”, “San Francisco”, “Quincy” and “Vincennes”.

At first glance the cruiser a new project, much like its predecessors, but in fact their case was shorter and narrower and the silhouette as a whole has gained a lot of harmony and ease. Changes in the “stuffing” became very significant. The designers decided to abandon the echelon arrangement of boilers and turbines considering that the gain in the sense of the impossibility of “one fatal hit” is not kompensiruet significant worsening of the mechanical installation and the need to allocate too large for her space. In Astoria and its sistership returned to the traditional old scheme: in front of the boiler compartments, rear — engine. But the arrangements finally got a decent defense with a 127-mm armor plates of 19 mm casing side in the amount equivalent to about 140 mm of armor. On top they were covered with 57 mm deck. Equally solid were the cellar, finally removed below the waterline and covered with boards 76-102 mm armor and is the same as on the machines deck. It is interesting to note that the Americans used a one of a kind scheme of reservation storage of ammunition. Nasal cellars cover side belt (which was now completely under water), whereas in stern defense carried inside in the form of characteristic British cruisers “armor box”.
In the course of construction the sailors demanded to strengthen protection of the towers of the main caliber, which, in their original ballistic version looked clear dissonance. And I must say, without special problems it was possible to increase the thickness of the frontal plate right up to 152 mm, and the roof — up to 63 mm. However, the sides and back remain slim, only 37 mm, but in the battle, then the main attack deployed at the enemy tower it took front and top. So, unlike the English, stubbornly standing for their almost unarmored installation, American designers came up with absolutely the right idea, moreover implemented quite cheap.
Nevertheless, overseas treforedling towers remained one significant defect. It was the fact that in order to save weight vosmidesyati mounted in the same cradle, and with a minimum distance between the trunks. This decision has led to slower firing, and more. Suffered and precision. In case of simultaneous shot (and the only way to fire full volleys and were good for such “Megastroy”) projectiles affect each other in flight, mainly due to the slipstream of air.
It is not surprising that the negative qualities of their towers were not long a secret to Americans. I just had to find the antidote. They became new gun MK.19, retaining the ballistic performance of its predecessor, but much more lightweight and compact. As a result, managed to place inside the new tower, which had almost the same dimensions as the previous, also three of the barrel, but far away from each other. Light guns only got the last four of the cruiser, but the upgraded tower installed at all units of the series. As for the guns, American sailors were happy with them for many years. despite the moderate specifications, roughly equivalent to the British “wire” guns, but inferior to the artillery of this caliber in other countries.
Lucky and anti-aircraft artillery “newcomers”: the number of 127-mm guns in the same way as on the “Portland”, was equal to eight, although they are still housed in open units and had a short barrel which made them not too suitable for firing at surface targets But the new fire control system MK.ZZ has become a real scourge for the Japanese aircraft. Americans are finally thinking about light-aircraft guns. But while this future trump the defense of the US fleet in the war looked very modest, eight heavy machine guns, unable seriously to stop any torpedo or dive bomber.
As a result of all disturbances and improvements series “new Orleans” — “Astoria” was “LP”: last pair, “Quincy” and “Vincennes”, was commissioned in 1936 and 1937, three years after the Navy received the first of the cruiser. At the least ascertain the extent of underemployment in the later ships mounted additional armor. The improvement primarily related to the Barbet. On the top three, “new Orleans”, “Astoria” and “Minneapolis” who was a “chilled imperfections” of the previous series, they had a thickness of 127 mm, whereas the following units it increased to 140-152 mm. it is Clear that such changes would take time. A considerable role was played by the London naval agreement of 1930, which limited not only the displacement of each of the Washington unit, but the total tonnage of the class. Now I had to moderate the appetite, “slowed down” for a year “Vincennes”. And the next ship was allowed to lay only in 1935, However. 17 built and built heavy cruisers consisted of solid strength of the Us admirals took their Pets a significant role in the coming war. And they were right. All the American “the DC community” as “raw” the first-born, and more successful units follow-on projects have been very actively participate in hostilities. Often with results the opposite of their qualities. So, the first couple was happy and had survived the Second world war. “Pensacola” has received in Board powerful 610-mm Japanese torpedo, but “limped” to the base, and stood for a year in repairs. And “salt lake city” had to take part in an unequal battle of the commander Islands with two stronger Japanese “classmates”. And really, four eight-inch shell knocked out “cardboard” ship, but the Japanese themselves interrupted the fight and walked away. After the war, both “Oldies” used to test atomic bombs at the Bikini Atoll, which, by the way, they had survived. However, radiation of the case could not even pass broken up and sank them two years later, using more conventional weapons — missiles and torpedoes.
But all subsequent series literally chased the torpedo hit. Of six “Augusta” to avoid them could only itself “Augusta”, successfully trapped on the Atlantic. But all participants of the war in the Pacific have been targets for a variety of media torpedoes. “Northampton” got a pair of 610-mm “gifts” from Japanese destroyers in the battle of Tassafaronga in November 1942, and three hours later sank. A month before their “fish” (with submarine) caught “Chester”, who had in the midst of heated battles to hold nine months of renovation. More fortunate “Louisville”, struck by a Japanese aircraft torpedo: the torpedo at that time did not explode. But “Chicago” got underwater five hits. The first, derived from the Japanese cruisers in the battle of Savo island, the cruiser healed until December 1942, and next month, the Japanese basic planes-torpedo bombers Nell stabbed him two more pieces. “Chicago” is completely lost in the course, despite its echelon location mechanisms. It was taken in tow, but the next day, “the younger Japanese sisters” Betty added the same. It was already too: the ship quickly sank.
Torpedoes set point and short the career of the “Houston”. The flagship of the Asian fleet of the U.S. were in the “soups team” — a motley connection of the allies under the command of Dutch Admiral Doorman. He survived the battle in the Java sea, but when I try to get out were intercepted Japanese class brothers “Mogami” and “Mikuma” first vyvedshie him out of action by artillery fire and then finish off the 610-mm “long spears”. Among the “torpedolab” were both of Portland. But with very different consequences. The “Portland” in October 1942 in the battle of Santa Cruz received two torpedoes from Japanese carrier-based aircraft, but — a miracle! — none of them exploded! But the happiness did not last long: just a couple of weeks 610-mm “fish” from the Japanese destroyer “Udate” almost ripped off his stern. The cruiser sank her abuser, but was held in the dock, then successfully continued his career, gaining 16 of distinguished service. But its sister ship unlucky “Indianapolis” had passed almost four years of the war when, on 30 June 1945 he was caught by the Japanese submarine I-58 and sank three torpedo hits. Not only that, “Indianapolis” was the last major warship of the allies, sunk in the Second world war, the huge losses suffered by his crew: ship died 883.
A tradition continued and the “new Orlean”. “Quincy” and “Vincennes” got their share of unfortunate for Americans, the battle of Savo island in August 1942. There were killed and Astoria, though not targeted for torpedoes, but fully loaded Japanese shells. The next blow to the series was the battle at Tassafaronga. “Minneapolis” was struck by two 610-mm torpedoes, fortunately got next to each other in the bow of the hull. The cruiser just ripped the fore end, but he was able to save and even repaired in less than a year Nose lost “new Orleans”, which to achieve the same “success” had one of the “long spears”. However, both have again come into operation and successfully and unsuccessfully continued his career, getting 16 “stars” (as the Americans celebrated military successes their ships.) One “star” their record is blocked “San Francisco”, it is likely because the avoid the “torpedo punishment” and not have lost is precious and hot months in the dock. But this does not mean that he is without scars. In contrast, in the unhappy 12 November 1942, “San Francisco” consistently lost the feed control artillery fire, literally rendered overboard, along with all the staff from hitting a Japanese aircraft, and the night got 45 hits Japanese shells and lost about 80 people, including Admiral and commander. The least “traumatic” was a service “Tuscaloosa” which, like “Augusta”, took place mostly in the Atlantic and Northern waters. Although it is not quite serene: the cruiser participated in many operations, including the maintenance of the infamous convoy PQ-17 battle with French ships in the landing at Casablanca.
It remains only to note that the surviving heavy cruisers built before the war in 1945 were very different from themselves when they bodilis in operation. They all got recognized trump — radar weapons that the Americans carefully changed and supported during the war. By August 1945, the management of artillery, and jasminewebcam, and antiaircraft guns — was conducted exclusively on data obtained from radar. And the threat of Japanese aircraft was forced to literally occupy every free space on the deck anti-aircraft guns, usually paired 40mm “bothersome” and lighter 20-mm “airlinename” in the form of two or single units with manual control. Almost all cruisers in 1943 and 1944 got his “new standard”, which included from 20 to 28 “Bogorov” and about two dozen “Arlekino”. It is clear that considerable overload demanded compensation, the benefit of field upgrades was quite extensive. Under the acetylene torch got many add-ons and bridges, as well as become old-fashioned mast-tripod. which replaced etnoderevni. (Although it would be truer to say “odnorukij”.) In the end, the “old” 30 years “caught up”, looking trim and looked pretty good next to their younger relatives, which, fortunately, were many: the love of the “chosen class” in the war, survived and even flourished.

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